Social Dynamics Modeling of Chrono-nutrition

Alessandro Di Stefano, Marialisa Scata, Supreeta Vijayakumar, Claudio Angione, Aurelio La Corte, Pietro Lio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Downloads (Pure)


Gut microbiota and human relationships are strictly connected to each other. What we eat reflects our body-mind connection and synchronizes with people around us. However, how this impacts on gut microbiota and, conversely, how gut bacteria influence our dietary behaviors has not been explored yet. To quantify the complex dynamics of this interplay between gut and human behaviors we explore the ``gut-human behavior axis'' and its evolutionary dynamics in a real-world scenario represented by the social multiplex network. We consider a dual type of similarity, homophily and gut similarity, other than psychological and unconscious biases. We analyze the dynamics of social and gut microbial communities, quantifying the impact of human behaviors on diets and gut microbial composition and, backwards, through a control mechanism. Meal timing mechanisms and ``chrono-nutrition'' play a crucial role in feeding behaviors, along with the quality and quantity of food intake. Considering a population of shift workers, we explore the dynamic interplay between their eating behaviors and gut microbiota, modeling the social dynamics of chrono-nutrition in a multiplex network. Our findings allow us to quantify the relation between human behaviors and gut microbiota through the methodological introduction of gut metabolic modeling and statistical estimators, able to capture their dynamic interplay. Moreover, we find that the timing of gut microbial communities is slower than social interactions and shift-working, and the impact of shift-working on the dynamics of chrono-nutrition is a fluctuation of strategies with a major propensity for defection (e.g. high-fat meals). A deeper understanding of the relation between gut microbiota and the dietary behavioral patterns, by embedding also the related social aspects, allows improving the overall knowledge about metabolic models and their implications for human health, opening the possibility to design promising social therapeutic dietary interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1006714
Pages (from-to)e1006714
JournalPLoS Computational Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Social Dynamics Modeling of Chrono-nutrition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this